Thursday, January 7, 2010

Session 1 Q&A

I wanted to post a little something from the first session in the Bible in 90 Days Participant Guide.
The guide contains questions to be discussed with your group at your weekly meeting. Of course, I don't have a weekly meeting of my group because my group is scattered across the four corners of the Earth. The Monday night Tweetups will involve some of the questions, I believe, but not all. And as long as I'm pondering these questions in my own heart, I might as well share those ponderings with you.

I think Session 1 was supposed to be done before the reading began because its ponderings have little to do with this challenge and more to do with background, previous attempts, etc. I will be posting all other discussions from the book on Fridays.

So, here goes:
1. Have you ever tried to read the entire Bible before? Why or why not?
Yes. I have tried to read it. I suppose I tried before because of the same reason lots of people do: I was looking for answers. I felt that I needed something that I wasn't getting from my life. My pitiful and worldly attempts at fulfillment left me empty.

2. If you have ever tried to read the Bible in its entirety, what challenges did you face in fulfilling your desire? Where did you start? How far did you get?
I think the biggest challenge was that I tend to lack stick-to-it-iveness for commitments that last more than a few days. Life got in the way. I got busy. I got stuck in certain sections.
I always started at Genesis 1:1. Despite the fact that many people have told me over the years that you can't read it from beginning to end - you need some sort of guide or manual - I have always felt that I wanted to read it from cover to cover. If God had meant for me to read the book of Luke first, he would have started the whole thing off with that part.
The first two times, I got as far as the last part of Exodus. Of course, I was reading a King James version and that didn't help. Then I once got as far as the end of Deuteronomy. This last time, I made it through about half of the book of Ezekiel. (But that took me about 9 years, so I'm not sure it actually counts as one reading!)

3. What have you found to be difficult and what have you found to be rewarding in your attempts to read the Bible regularly?
The most difficult part for me is not feeling guilty about the "Me Time" it requires. Although my family will benefit, I am largely doing this for me. To be honest, I stink at doing anything for myself that I think might take me away from doing something for someone else. Last night my husband was kind enough to do the dishes while I read. Although I'm sure he didn't mind, I did feel terribly guilty about that.
The most rewarding part is how my entire focus has shifted. Spending this much time in His word every single day has already forced my mind and my heart into a new shape. Whether I'm singing with students at work, playing with my own kids, or doing housework... no matter what I'm doing, part of my mind is always focused on Him. And that, my friends, is an awesome feeling.

4. If you have successfully read the entire Bible before...
No need to go on. We've already established that I have tried & not succeeded before.

5. If you have started to read the Bible but have never completed your reading goal, what really kept you from finishing what you started?
In a word (and by "a word" I mean "3words"): lack of discipline.

6. What most excites you about the prospect of reading the Bible in 90days?
I'd have to say that the thing that most excites me is the idea that I will have actually read the whole thing. And the fact that it's going so quickly helps to make everything more relevant to everything else. I'm flipping back less often because what I read in Genesis is still very fresh in my mind... because I just read it 4 days ago!

7. Why do you believe it is important to read the entire Bible? What do you expect to discover in terms of practical living, spiritual growth, knowledge of history, or other areas?
Okay, what do I not expect to learn about practical living? When you think about it, the Bible is the owner's manual for life. It is the ultimate operating and trouble shooting manual.
Want to know how to be a good wife? There's a scripture for that. Have a broken heart? There's a scripture for that. Want to know how to be a good worker? There's a scripture for that. Need to know how to raise your children? There's a scripture for that, too.
You know how they say that kids don't come with owner's manuals? Well, that's a bunch of hooey. You just pick up your Bible and crack it open, because every truly important thing you need to know about turning out good, upstanding adults is right in there. Everything you ever needed to know about this thing called life is in the Bible. God wouldn't give you such a precious gift & then say, "Okay. You're on your own. Go figure it out." He gave us an owners manual. We just have to read the instructions, and we'll get tons & tons of enjoyment and fulfillment out of it!

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